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“Carlsbad Lower Cave Tour” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lower Cave Tour

Lower Cave Tour
Petaluma, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Carlsbad Lower Cave Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2014

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Lower Cave Tour. Limited to 12 guests with 2 rangers it was a world apart from the Big Cave self guided tour. It is listed as an introductory adventure tour, however it was not difficult at all to use the very limited rope and ladders on the tour. The pathway through the tour was easy enough as well. Plan and book in advance as all the guided tours were all sold out the day of our arrival. Highly recommend for the mildly adventurous.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Les S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A mix of caving away from the crowds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

After not particularly loving the big room, I was not looking forward to the lower cave tour, but I was pleasantly surprised. The tour starts off walking down a steep slope with assistance of a rope and then down 3 ladders. From above, it was hard to see where the opening in the rock even was! Our guides then led us through natural formations. Hightlights included walking along a passageway one by one (to allow for some alone time) and an optional crawl though a tight space.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Alison667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“The Guide makes all the difference”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2014

Worth the tour price? Debatable…

At the beginning you climb down a couple of easy to navigate ladders, then it is pretty much an easy walking tour from there on out. The temperature is a steady mid-50’s (like the rest of the caverns). Recommend a light jacket unless you think mid-50’s is swimsuit weather.

They provide you a helmet and gloves (knee pads not needed), you provide three AA batteries for the helmet light.

Overall, I would say they could cut the tour length in half and you would still get a good viewing of the lower cave.

Of the three guided tours (Lower, Spider, Kings Palace), I liked this one the least, not because of the sites to see but due to the slowness of the tour and it seemed like our guide had never been down there either. Questions concerning the lower cave were not well answered.

It is worth seeing but if it is a choice between this tour and another, I would try the other one.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank a1kx67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
65 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“least recommended tour we took”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

Out of the 3 guided tours and one self guided bigroom tour with audio rentals ( well worth the $5) we didnt really enjoy this tour that much. Tour guides were friendly, but didnt really appreciate the extra time spent being treated like children in a classroom talking about "our favorite adventures" instead of just taking us on the tour and pointing out the more scientific and historical aspects of the cave.

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3 Thank honeyelfin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
81 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Incredible Adventure Away From The Crowd”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

The Lower Cave tour goes eighty feet below the main public area of Carlsbad Caverns. The tour costs an extra $20 dollars per person and is worth every penny. Tour lasts about three hours and is ranger led. The park service provides miner helmets with a head lamp. You climb down a short rope and three ladders. The ranger rated it moderately strenuous, however we didn't feel that it was very difficult. My wife and I are active 50+, so if you are a complete couch potato or really claustrophobic then you might struggle.
During the tour you get to see all kinds of fantastic formations. The rangers that led our hike were very informative and made the tour really fun. Be sure to reserve this tour months in advance, because it will probably be sold out when you arrive at the park.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank GeddyGolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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